Give us your “elevator pitch” (What you do, who you are, where you’re from).
I help people earn money outside of their day jobs. This lower-risk brand of entrepreneurship is what allowed me to quit my corporate job in 2008 and forge my own path since then. On the Side Hustle Nation blog I share my own business experiments and on the podcast, I explore a different side hustle business opportunity each week with a been-there-done-that successful entrepreneur.
I grew up in Seattle but have been living in Northern California the last 8 years. My wife and I have a lovable giant shih tzu called Mochi.
Who’s your hero?
The people who take action and make things happen, and it certainly changes over time. Growing up it was Seattle sports icons like Ken Griffey, Jr. and Randy Johnson. In high school, I really admired my boss at the time, who quit his corporate gig to start the restaurant I worked at.
Hero is probably too strong a word, but there are many people to learn from and emulate. Recently the most prolific of those people is probably Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com. His blog and podcast are consistently helpful and I like the honesty and integrity with which he runs his business.
When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to unwind and refocus?
Traditionally I would go to the pool and swim for a bit. There’s something about the quietness of the water that helps filter all the distractions. You’re so focused on your strokes and your breath it’s hard to stress about anything else. But it also stands to reason if you have time to go swim, you must not really be that busy. Lately one thing that’s been working well for me is prioritizing out my top 3-5 tasks for the next day the night before. That way, when I get going in the morning, I know EXACTLY what I’m going to work on and in what order.
What’s your favorite book?
There are so many excellent books out there but one that really stood out for me and maybe solidified a little mindset shift was The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. It’s a really quick read and all about helping others and trusting that in time that will come back to you. I’ve tried to apply the Go-Giver mentality in all my recent projects and things are moving in the right direction.That said, with practically zero barriers to self-publishing, I would challenge you to write your own book and share your unique experience, expertise, and value with the world.
Describe the biggest risk you’ve ever taken. How did it work out?
I feel like I’ve become more risk-averse over the years. At 20 or 21, I bought a rental house with no job, no income, and 5% down. It ended OK but could have been a very costly endeavor. In 2008, I finally got up the nerve to quit my job to work on my business full-time. I didn’t see it as risky at the time, but in hindsight it was a big move. Then, on day 1 of self-employment, Google decided to shut down my advertising account and I lost 80% of my traffic. It took 3 months to get it back, but I was pretty rattled by the experience. Had I waited even just another day, I might not have had the nerve to give up the safety and security of that steady paycheck.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and it’s something I have to constantly remind myself of.
Describe your dream vacation.
I think I fall into Seth Godin’s camp here when he said, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.” I’m grateful to be able to travel but there’s only so many hours or days I can lie on the beach before I get bored and want to get back to work. I take that to be a sign I love what I do!
Where do you see yourself in 25 years?
That’s impossible to know. Ten years ago I had no idea this is what I’d be doing. Shoot, even 5 years ago life was pretty different. That’s why I have no tattoos; what sounds like a good idea today but not even interest you tomorrow, let alone 25 years from now.
If my days were similar to how they are now, that would be awesome. In a perfect world, my wife and I would be financially free and pursuing projects we wanted to work on without worrying about the dollars. That, and the view from our Lunar colony is pretty sweet.
What’s currently on your radar? Tell us about your latest project.
I’m outlining a couple new book projects, including one that will hopefully share a bunch of case studies on how people earned their first $1000 outside their day jobs. I’m also kicking around some service business ideas, including a business book editing service, which is something I’ve been doing through word of mouth for the last year or so but I believe there’s an opportunity to scale it up a little.
Any advice for recent college grads?
My friend Jullien Gordon puts it this way: “We’re all already entrepreneurs. Your day job is simply your biggest client.”
I think keeping that in mind will serve you well. Think like the Go-Giver: who can you help?
Connect with Nick:
Learn more about Nick and his work online at: http://www.sidehustlenation.com . Also, be sure to connect with Nick on Twitter, LinkedIn, and join his Facebook Group for Side Hustlers .
All Apps Authors Baby Boomers Blogging Books Burnout Business Career Caregiving Coaching College Conferences Consumer Psychology Courses Crowdfunding Culture Customer Service Double Bottom Line Double Bottom-line Education Entrepreneur Failure Family Female Professionals Feminism Finance Freelance Generational Divide Generations Give Back Graphic Design Health Healthcare Home Office HR Inspiration Job Search Leadership Lifestyle LinkedIn Management Marketing Mentor Military Military Spouses Millennial Millennial Month Millennials Millennial Spotlight Mindset #MotivatedGenY MPR Academy Network Nonprofits Passion Perseverance Philantrophy Politics Productivity Public Relations Resources Risk Scholarships Social Entrepreneurship Social Media Startup Start Up Student Loans Success Travel Twitter Chats Veterans Work Life Balance Writing